Moscow | Yekaterinburg | Novosibirsk | Irkutsk | Lake Baikal | Ulan Ude | Ulaanbaatar | Gobi Desert
An in-depth Trans-Siberian Railway experience between Siberia and Mongolia filled with unique historical and cultural perspective, this fifteen-day expedition begins in Moscow on the famed Tsar’s Gold train and ends in Ulaanbaatar. Find yourself in Novosibirsk, the heart of Siberia, along the shore of the oldest lake in the world, Lake Baikal, and the magnificent diversity of the Gobi Desert’s incredible ecosystems.
Day 1-2 Tour of Moscow | Board the Tsar’s Gold, Trans-Siberian Railway
Arrive in Moscow, one of the richest and most dynamic cities in the world. After your arrival and check-in at a hotel, take the ‘Moscow by Night’ city lights tour and stroll the famous Red Square and Metro stations. A tour of one of the oldest Kremlin in the world and its glorious cathedrals follows the morning after, along with St. Basil’s Cathedral, before you depart via the Trans-Siberian Railway for Kazan.
Day 3-4 Kazan | Yekaterinburg
The next day arrive in Kazan, the old Tatar capital on the banks of the Volga, and take a guided tour of the Kremlin to learn about the bloody relations of the Tatars, Cossacks, and Russians. Next, the capital of the Ural Mountains and the border between Asia and Europe – Yekaterinburg – is the site of a varied and somewhat tragic history. The city tour includes the center, restored in 2009, and the newly-erected Cathedral-on-the-blood built in memorial of the last Tsar of Russia, Nicholas II, and his family.
Day 5-6 Novosibirsk | Onboard The Tsar’s Gold, Trans-Siberian Railway
The following day pull into the Novosibirsk station, Siberia’s largest city, and take a tour along the mighty Ob River. After dinner, the train continues to travel the Trans-Siberian route through Eastern Siberia’s mountains, crystal-clear rivers and verdant slopes. Enjoy lectures, a social get-together with caviar and vodka, and lively conversation with your fellow passengers – all while enjoying the on-board restaurant’s specialty ‘Tsar’s Feast.’
Day 7-9 Irkutsk | Lake Baikal | Ulan Ude
A tour of the city of Irkutsk includes the lively market hall, drama theatre, and a newly-erected statue of the Tsar as well as an open-air museum displaying Siberian life in the old days. Enjoy a full day in and around Lake Baikal, exploring the wonderful atmosphere of the lake, taking a short boat ride, and discovering the picturesque town of Listvyanka. Make your way around Lake Baikal’s other shore path the following day, passing through the magnificent valley of Selenga – the largest river in Mongolia – and stopping in Ulan Ude, and then move on toward Ulaanbaatar the following day.
Day 10 Ulaanbaatar
In the morning you arrive in Ulaanbaatar and end your journey along the Trans-Siberian Railway. Visit Gandan Monastery, the seat of Buddhist activity in the region, along with the newly-remodeled National History Museum’s Stone and Bronze Age artifacts. Afterward, 976 Art Gallery provides you with a glimpse into the modern day world of the nomad: this contemporary art gallery is a regular attraction for a hip crowd of intellectuals who support and promote growing Mongolian artists.
Day 11-12 Gobi | Yol Valley | Tugrugiin Shiree | Bulgan Sum
Fly south to the Gobi and discover the diverse ecosystems it has to offer including the verdant Yol Valley, carved from an ancient river. Over the next day, explore Tugrugiin Shiree, site of the famed ‘Fighting Dinosaurs’ fossil, and Bulgan – home to one of the Gobi’s only farms.
Day 13-14 Moltsog Els | Flaming Cliffs | Family Visit | Ulaanbaatar
Drive to Moltsog Els, one of the only areas of the Gobi covered in sand dunes, before visiting a family and continuing on to the Flaming Cliffs. Discovered by Dr. Roy Chapman Andrews in 1923 during the Central Asiatic Expeditions, the Flaming Cliffs glow a legendary and brilliant orange hue in the fading sun. Enjoy a stay at the Three Camel Lodge, our luxury eco-lodge in the heart of the Gobi, before returning to Ulaanbaatar to visit the Bogd Khan Winter Palace museum.